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Comic Book / The Spider

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The Spider is a character who first appeared in the June 26, 1965 issue of British comic book Lion, which contained the usual collection of adventure cartoons and stories, puzzle pages and information pages - standard fare for British comics at the time.

According to the Spider's backstory, he was a bored rich man who turned to crime for fun. After a short career as a cat-burglar, he found that crime was too easy and so returned everything he'd stolen and became a crime-fighter instead.

The Spider is a smug, superior, self-confident Insufferable Genius, who is all the more insufferable because he actually is as brilliant and talented as he believes he is and rarely, if ever, overestimates his own capabilities. The Spider is never seen without his Jet Pack, Web Gun and Laser (or sometimes Sonar) pistol. He prefers to travel long distances in his Heli-Car rather than by jet pack (it can be assumed because the jet pack lacks the range for long distance flight).

One of the most memorable of Britain's comics characters, the Spider also appeared in Paul Grist's Jack Staff, and Leah Moore and John Reppion's Albion. Grist invented his real name of "Alfred Chinard", which Moore and Reppion evidently liked enough to also use it in Albion.

Since 2021 Rebellion has been making reprints of the Spider's adventures and has made several new appearances in other comics.

The Spider provides examples of:

  • Anti-Hero: He's a former villain who started fighting crime once he found that committing crimes was too easy.
  • Gentleman Thief: Idle, rich, bored, so he became a super-thief.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Turned from superthief to crimefighter. Interestingly, it doesn't appear to have happened in Jack Staff, in which he remained a thief.
  • Jet Pack: One of the foremost regular users in British comics.
  • Moral Pragmatist: This is canonically the reason why he fights crime. As a bored rich man, he first became a cat-burglar then found that was too easy so he returned everything he'd stolen and became a crime-fighter instead. He sticks with it simply because it provides him with the excitement in life that he'd wanted.
  • Pointed Ears: Although The Spider has pointed ears, he is supposedly human.
  • Public Domain Character: Paul Grist thought he was, and introduced him in Jack Staff, as well as inventing his real name, Alfred Chinard (or A. Chinard). After it turned out he wasn't, IPC gave Grist permission to keep using him, as long as he was only referred to as Chinard, and not "the Spider".